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Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Greinke) at Houston (Rodriguez)

Contract stipulation: A spotlight every time he is in the field.
Contract stipulation: A spotlight every time he is in the field.

At least, that's this is the pitching matchup provided that neither player is traded in the next couple hours. Both have been heavily rumored to be available as we approach the trade deadline.

Wandy Rodriguez (6-6 3.54) has been the subject of trade rumors for what feels like years now. He has been a consistently good pitchers, with 3.54, 3.02, 3.60, 3.49, and 3.54 ERAs since 2008. His FIPs have been right around the same, with a 3.90 FIP this season. Strangely, after being in the high-7.00s to mid 8.00s in K/9 the past few years, that number has dropped to 5.76 this year for Rodriguez. He has also seen a drastic drop in his walk numbers. His current BB/9 stands at 1.89 with a career mark of 3.12.

The 33-year-old left hander has been struggling recently, however. Since the end of May, Rodriguez has a 5.79 ERA in seven starts, including one where he allowed seven earned runs in five innings to the Cincinnati Reds. Over that span, opponents have been OPSing .852 against him. His last outing came against the Cubs when he allowed three earned runs in seven innings. Prior to that cold stretch, Rodriguez had just a 2.14 ERA in his first ten starts.

Rodriguez throws four pitches, primarily: A 76 MPH curveball (32%), an 89 MPH two-seamer (27%), an 89 MPH four-seamer (25%) and an 84 MPH change-of-pace (14%).

As could be expected, Rodriguez has faced several current Brewers at least ten times. Here is how they have fared:

Player PA Line
Corey Hart 47 .386/.426/.409
Aramis Ramirez 45 .349/.356/.488
Rickie Weeks 41 .356/.463/.529
Ryan Braun 37 .412/.459/.912
Carlos Gomez 20 .200/.200/.250
Cesar Izturis 11 .200/.273/.400
Randy Wolf 10 .200/.200/.300

Opposing Rodriguez will be Zack Greinke (9-2, 3.08). Greinke may not have been put in the All-Star Game, but he has been having a fantastic season. Greinke leads NL Pitchers in WAR (3.5), is 13th in ERA (3.08), is first in FIP (2.37), is second in xFIP (2.79), is 12th in K/9 (8.83), is 14th in BB/9 (2.00), and is third in HR/9 (0.42).

So, yeah, basically Zack Greinke is awesome and it's going to be really sad when he does leave the Brewers either via trade or free agency. The only strange thing about Greinke recently is that his strikeout numbers have dropped off his past four games. He has thrown 29 innings over that span, but has just 17 strikeouts, good for just a 5.27 K/9. We'll see if he can pick back up on his strikeouts tonight.

Greinke has yet to face any current Astros players at least ten times.

As of this writing, I've yet to see a lineup for today's game. If you have, perhaps you could put it in the comments?

In the bullpen:

Kameron Loe pitched one inning (8 pitches) last night.
Livan Hernandez pitched two innings (33 pitches) last night.
Manny Parra pitched .1 innings (4 pitches) Thursday and had appeared in three straight games.
Jose Veras pitched 1.1 innings (27 pitches) Thursday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (17 pitches) Wednesday.
John Axford pitched one inning (16 pitches) Wednesday.
Tim Dillard last pitched on Saturday.